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Posted: October 8, 2009 6:51 p.m.

Housing group hosts auction to benefit non-profits

Richport Properties is inviting the community to come out Saturday to its newest property from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Brookline subdivision, located one mile south of the square at Highway 36 and Eagle Drive, to bid at a silent auction, enjoy some free food and entertainment, learn more about local community groups and explore new houses.

Cherry Porter of Richport said whenever her company opens new properties, it makes some kind of contribution to the local community.

"We build communities not houses, and Covington has been on a community building trek lately," Porter said. "So we’re having this event to bring that community closer together."

The main event will be a silent auction, with the proceeds going to The Center for Community Preservation and Planning and other local non-profits, including Smart Growth Newton, Southern Heartland Art Gallery, Friends of Newton Parks, Newton County Water and Sewage Authority and Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful. These will also have information booths to connect them to current and potential future residents.

"These groups plan together a lot and we want to take every opportunity we can to educate the public, especially those who are new to the community and may not be as familiar," KCNB Executive Director Connie Waller said.

Dozens of local business and individuals have donated items ranging from football tickets to furniture to beauty products to art. In addition to the auction, Richport will be providing free hot dogs, bratwurst and polish sausages from Cosmoe Joes, and a free concert performed by Brian David and the Plain Spoken Folk.

"We’re out there really to have a hot dog and to help people get information from these groups," Porter said. "It will be a great way to display the local community and to bring people and information together."

Porter said a lot of people don’t have a chance to learn about these groups, especially if they live farther out in the county and have their lives more focused on Atlanta or other cities. She said there’s no real sense of community in Atlanta, but Covington is one of the few cities where people can find that and connect.

Porter and Lee said they’re also excited to see this type of hope-for-profit and not-for-profit partnership, which isn’t common.

"The auction is a total win, because we all win if homeowners come to Covington, but even if we don’t have new homeowners, we will have educated Newton County citizens and others and have had a lot of fun," Porter said.

Jonathan Paschal wants to teach people about smart growth through planning, Elise Hammond wants to showcase the area’s talented artists, Barbara Morgan wants to promote the local parks and Mike Hopkins wants to make sure residents continue to use water conservation practices to protect the county’s most valuable resources.

"There is a special spirit in the people who want to be there and want to make the community a better place," Lee said.

Brookline is the combination of three distinct communities in one subdivision in order to provide the right home for all different types of people. Porter said despite the economy, now is a good time for people to buy their own house and become part of a wonderful community. Homes start at $109,000. For more information visit richport.com/communities or call Sholanda Smith at (404) 578-6388.

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